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Have you outgrown your Excel spreadsheets? It’s not always easy to tell when the time has come to upgrade to a database program. Usually, users begin to notice inefficiencies with their spreadsheets such as inconsistent information or redundant data. Rather than wasting your resources moving back and forth from one spreadsheet to the next, you can switch over to a database program like Microsoft Access.

Here are five signs that you’ve outgrown Excel.

1. You don’t trust your data.

Do you have confidence in your data? If not, it’s difficult to run a productive business. The wrong data can cost you thousands of dollars and waste precious time. For example, were there rows or columns deleted? Fields overwritten? Avoid these errors with a database program. You will protect your bottom line and always be confident in your data and the decisions you make based on it.

2. You need real-time collaboration.

Excel is a great program for tracking information, but it wasn’t meant to handle real-time collaboration. If you have multiple people working on an Excel spreadsheet, the chances for mistakes are high. A database program is more accommodating for multiple colleagues. Plus, you won’t have to email spreadsheets back and forth. Different users can access the database no matter where they are.

3. Your spreadsheets load slowly.

When you sit and wait for data to load, you’re wasting time that could be spent on more important tasks. If you’ve noticed that orders, dates and SKUs are already slow to load, just imagine how much time it will take for bigger files! Too many rows and columns can negatively affect Excel’s performance. A database program, on the other hand, is designed to handle large amounts of information without being slowed down.

4. You need a coding expert to understand your data.

If you find yourself waiting around for coding experts to answer questions regarding your data, it’s probably time for an upgrade. Some business owners are hesitant to advance to a database because of coding, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how easy Access is to follow. And, you don’t need to have a background in coding. You can make data-driven decisions without slowing your business down.

5. Your meetings lack compelling visuals.

When you present information during your meetings, do you have exciting visuals to go along with the data? If not, it’s easy for your audience to get bored. Looking at numbers, after all, isn’t all that interesting. But, if you pair this data with bright visuals that enhance the story, it becomes much more delightful for viewers. Excel charts and graphs are made for small data sets only. If you’re working with large, complex data, you can use Access to generate visuals and insights to support your work.

Still not sure if switching from Excel to Access is right for you? Call Arkware and let’s talk about your database needs.